Courtesy of BGSU Athletic Communications (Story written by Jack Carle, Sentinel Sports Editor)
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - It's a phone call he'll never forget.
The call last Sunday morning resulted in Jace Walker, a senior at Bowling Green State University, reaching golf's magic number -- 59.
After playing 36 holes of competitive golf on Saturday and arriving back in BG after midnight, the last thing on Walker's mind was more golf.
So when he got a call from former teammate Dan McIntyre, a Perrysburg High School graduate, about playing a casual round at Bedford Hills in Michigan, he declined.
McIntyre was able to talk Walker into filling out the foursome with McIntrye's father, Bill, and brother-in-law, Justin Weiserod.
And Walker, a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, will be forever grateful. Bedford Hills has three 9-hole courses and with Walker playing the Irish course first and the Buckeye nine second he was able to shoot a 59 on rounds of 30 and 29. Walker said the course played about 6,100 yards.
"He called me about 9:30 and I was still sleeping and he said: "Do you want to play?' and I said, 'not really," Walker said. "He said they only had three, so get over here and I said fine."
Walker had shot a 145 for 36 holes at the Marshall Invitational the previous day.
"I was kind of tired and we had gotten back really late from Marshall," Walker said.
It was during the tournament that BG head coach Garry Winger gave Walker a putting tip and it paid off in a big way on Sunday.
"The ball was too far back in my stance, so I was pushing everything to the right. I moved it up in my stance which really allowed the ball to get on line to start more left," Walker said about the change made by Winger.
"I can thank him for the putting tip, that changed everything. So hopefully I can keep it going in our other tournaments."
Winger said some changes were made so Walker uses the same stroke every time he putts.
"You have to read greens and understand what the ball does around the hole," Winger said.
Walker made a 50-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 first hole at Bedford Hills and Walker finished with 11 birdies, the eagle and only one bogey. "I was 4-under after four and I said this could be a good day," Walker said. "I was thinking maybe mid-60s or something and it just kind of kept going."
The bogey was on his 11th hole, when he hit his tee shot into a hazard. He countered that with seven birdies on the second nine.
"It was basically all putting. I hit every fairway and missed one green," Walker said. "I didn't have a lot of tap-ins, I just putted. It was the best putting I ever had. I made everything I looked at."
It started out as a very informal round of golf.
"It was a very social round. Those guys were all laughing and having fun," Walker said. "But it was funny, toward the end (it changed). I was riding with Dan and he knew what was going on the whole time. But his dad and brother-in-law didn't until there were four or five holes left.
"They came over and asked Dan what I was hitting and he told them to get away from the cart," Walker continued. "Then they started to get real quiet. There wasn't much chitter-chatter on the greens the last few holes. "They started to stay out of my way ... It was good of them."
Walker knows the pressure of competitive golf as he was a good junior player in Ontario and is the Falcons' team captain this season.
"When I play in my tournaments here, I get so wired up and I put so much pressure on myself," Walker said. "This just proves when you're out casually and don't really care, what can happen.
"It's a good lesson for me and one I can take over to my tournaments here at BG."
At BG, he is closing in on both the single-season low average and the career low average. Both records are held by Winger.
"He's basically turned into a wonderful player," said Winger, who played junior golf against Walker's father, Doug, in Ontario.